As the average price of a gallon of gasoline tops $5.00 nationwide for the first time, American families are being forced to make tough decisions between filling up their gas tank or buying groceries. But instead of developing a plan to increase American production and solve this crisis, President Biden and his administration have a different idea: to make China profit.
Last week, the Biden administration removed tariffs on solar panel imports from several Southeast Asian countries for two years, neutralizing an ongoing Commerce Department investigation into Chinese efforts to circumvent existing tariffs. Beginning in April, the Commerce Department began investigating whether solar cells and modules manufactured in this region used parts and components made in China and subsidized by the Communist Party of China (CCP).
This quiet move will not help lower energy prices for Americans while delivering a geopolitical victory for communist China. President Trump established such tariffs in response to the abhorrent labor practices, lack of environmental standards, and market manipulation that have led to China controlling about 80% of solar panels used in the United States. Reducing solar tariffs is not just a favor for the CCP. , but it also means turning our backs on ready and able American workers.
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As the Biden administration seeks to force rapid change to deploy and use more solar panels, electric vehicles and wind turbines, it appears to once again lack a comprehensive strategy to strengthen the US supply chain and produce and manufacture the essential minerals needed for these technologies.
In 2019, 90% of the world’s rare earth metals, alloys and permanent magnets were produced by China, and 85% of the world’s rare earth oxides were produced in China. On top of that, the United States is 100% dependent on imports of 11 critical minerals from China and two critical minerals from Russia.
This must not be the case. Two federal concessions to operate in Minnesota could have provided enough nickel to make more than 200 million electric vehicles and enough cobalt to make 42 million electric vehicles. But instead of using American resources, the Biden administration chose to cancel those leases.
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Biden’s assault on US energy and resources — which began on his first day in office — has increased our dependence on adversaries like China and made our allies less secure. Xi Jinping could not have devised a better strategy himself.
The American people cannot afford to let China dictate their energy policy. That’s why House Republicans have created the Energy, Climate and Conservation Task Force and the China Accountability Task Force, to help identify and develop policy solutions to promote the energy and American jobs while countering the CCP’s malign influence at home and abroad. As members of these task forces, we have real solutions that will encourage home energy production and promote national security.
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This includes rolling back regulations that make it difficult to produce critical minerals in America. This means stopping policies that discourage the investments needed to produce these resources. And that means investing wisely and finding innovative ways to use and recycle our resources.
We must also hold China accountable by exposing its heinous labor practices and ensuring that US taxpayers’ money is not spent supporting Chinese industries, especially when it is not even necessary.
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Using American resources will strengthen our economy, create American jobs, reduce our dependence on adversarial regimes, and keep our allies safe while helping to reduce global emissions.
America faces an energy crisis and we cannot afford to rely on China to solve it. While Biden calls record high gasoline prices an “incredible transition” from fossil fuels to green energy, it’s clear to leftists that pain at the pump is the goal.
Instead, consider serious proposals that will provide the American people with affordable, reliable, and clean energy without enriching our adversaries like China.
House Republicans are eager to present these solutions to the American people.
Republican Pete Stauber represents Minnesota’s 8th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives.
Republican Mike Gallagher represents Wisconsin’s 8th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives.